Today we go down memory lane, back to when I took my first solo trip to Lake Elmentaita Serena Camp. I was itching to get away from Nairobi, like a person in confinement yearns for a moment of sunlight…
Do you ever feel this way… like going off by yourself to escape from it all? The fast-paced, city life gets hectic and sometimes all you want to do is get away and breathe…
I was excited to go away, yet concurrently my heart was packed with anxiety. I felt pretty much like that pimple-faced kid on the first day of high school feeling lost, without a clue on where to start…
It was way back when the blog was still an idea, living in the confines of my mind. At the time, I didn’t own a camera, so I borrowed my sister’s phone-which had a better camera, packed a bag and hit the road. If I had to start somewhere, then this would have to be it 🙂
Lake Elmentaita Serena Camp is set up on the shores of Lake Elmentaita, about 2 hours drive away from Nairobi, in the Soysambu Conservancy.
As Lake Elmentaita Serena Camp came into view, a serene feeling washed over me…it was much more than I had anticipated.
You promptly find yourself in a bush, where the only thing you hear is nothingness. Overlooking the panoramic Lake Elmentaita, the hotel offers a sense of serenity and oneness with nature that pulls you in at first sight! I felt myself easing into the environment, becoming one with the fresh air, the open sky and pure silence.
I arrived in time for lunch, which was a welcome treat for me-I was starving! All I remember of that first meal though, is the dessert! I am a sucker for ice cream, and hence began my love-relationship with Pistachio ice cream. Yum!
After lunch, I walked around the hotel to breathe it all in… My room was a wonderful surprise! Housed in a jungle-like tent, with a luxurious canopy bed and a porch overlooking the lake, it was the perfect abode. While the room was delightful, the shower was glorious! The wide and spacious bathroom was lovely, and leaving the shower became a struggle each time!
The rest of the hotel was a joy, with the views of the lake soothing and calming. I noticed that most of the guests were either in couples or families while I was the odd one out, by my lonesome. However, the staff were friendly and made me feel right at home.
Throwback to when I was still a red head 🙂
At night the hotel came to life; the expanse of the sky looked bedazzled with stars, while insects buzzed and clicked in the darkness. They have an outdoor restaurant with a wonderful view of the lake, and an indoor restaurant that is perfect for dinner. The meals are à la carte, which gives one the chance to try all sorts of new things!
I booked myself in for a massage, something I’d always wanted to try. Being super indecisive, I settled for a deep tissue massage thinking it would ease my back pain. Boy was I wrong! The pain skyrocketed. I have since learned that a relaxing massage does the trick for me, especially for back issues 😉 🙂
Out of sheer curiosity, I signed up for Yoga having never tried it before. This time, I was wise enough to tell the Yoga instructor about the back problem in advance. He took me at a leisurely pace, through each of the steps. I got a good laugh at myself though, as none of my ‘poses’ looked remotely anything like what he was doing! Hats off to Serena Hotel-Yoga in the bush is incredible!
There was a water-color painting session available, which I didn’t partake, but looked interesting. Serena also organizes day and night game drives, horse riding and nature walks. You also get to see some animals wandering around innocently, while seated at the restaurant, or at the porch from the rooms.
I was happy to sit by the outdoor pool and journal, reflecting on life. I realized that solo trips are great as you don’t have to pack your day with multiple activities or make compromises. It may seem selfish, but this is essential once in a while for an individual, to find yourself as you reflect on life.
At the same time, I think Serena Elmentaita would be well-enjoyed in groups with families and friends, depending on what you are looking for.
Life will constantly require us to do something for the first time that may feel scary at first glance. But, if we take on these new experiences courageously, we might find that we like them and may grow from it.
Have you been to Serena Elmentaita? What are some of your memorable ‘firsts’ in life? Share with me on the Comments’ section below 🙂
Stay Inspired 🙂